Outdoor world with a human-breathable atmosphere and indigenous life. The atmosphere is far from chemical equilibrium as a result.
— In-Game Description
Earth is the homeworld of the human species, located in the Sol system. It is the namesake of the Earth-like World classification of Terrestrial Planets. It is the third planet of the system, orbiting at precisely 1 AU from its parent star, a G2-V Main Sequence star known as Sol, or simply "The Sun". Earth is the largest of the system's terrestrial and rocky bodies. The planet and its single moon were born from an accretion disk that existed during the Sol System's formation, which happened around 4.5 billion years ago. It has one natural satellite, known simply as "The Moon", or less commonly as "Luna".
Although Earth was originally the capital of the Federation from its founding in 2242, following the Federation's humbling defeat in the Battle of Achenar in 2325, that status was transferred to the recently-terraformed planet of Mars to alleviate discontent among the Federation's other member systems.
Cradle of Humanity
The planet Earth is the cradle of humanity. As such it has experienced times of terrible destruction, through war and ecological disaster. Since the 22nd century humanity has expanded from its home into the stars, and much of the damage the planet's ecosphere had suffered has since been repaired. The planet is now a popular travel destination and is a lush and vibrant world.
Earth formed around 4.5 billion years ago, at the same time the Sol System was formed. Sol, then a T Tauri star on its way to becoming a yellow dwarf, possessed a massive disc surrounding it called an accretion disk, full of gas and dust particles left over from its violent birth. At least 100 planets were formed from this huge disc, one of them being Earth. Today, the Sol System has nine planets, but a lot of the planets formed during the system's formation were captured by the massive gravitational pull of huge planets like Jupiter and Saturn and became their natural satellites.
When it formed, Earth was a violent world that consisted solely of searing molten lava and a toxic atmosphere. Thousands upon thousands of meteors and asteroids rained from the sky like fire, and life could simply not exist. It was a vision of hell itself - even an entire planet, called Theia, collided with Earth at some point during its formation, forming Earth's large moon.
Over a billion years after its formation, things settled down. The planets all moved into their respective orbits, and Earth was no longer a fiery, hellish world. By now, Earth was a volcanic water world, possessing simple microbial life beneath its vast oceans. The atmosphere consisted of Nitrogen, Carbon Dioxide, and small amounts of Oxygen. It was on its way to becoming a haven for life.
Over six mass extinction events, billions of years and several ice ages, Earth eventually became the recognisable human-dominated world with seven continents and the human-friendly atmosphere we know today.
Rise of Humanity
Humans have been roaming the planet for at least 200,000 years, though the first humans were much like other animals. They had a scattered, tribal society that emerged on the continent of Africa, and humans back then did not have any singular language, no developed agriculture nor any civilisation for a large period of time.
Large-scale colonisation and tool use did not begin until about 15,000 years ago, when humanity first mastered the art of agriculture. It is thought that structured, intelligent communication via writing also began at around this point. Over the next few thousand years, the human species advanced and developed more sophisticated tools and survival techniques. They colonised more and more areas of the planet, and the first large cities arose during the 3rd millennium BCE. One of the most famous empires of ancient Earth was the Roman Empire, situated in the Western Eurasian area, which developed some of the most sophisticated technologies that are still in use even today. The Romans invented things such as aqueducts, underfloor heating, and the Calendar. The Roman Empire collapsed in the year 476 with the Sack of Rome, causing a period known as the Dark Ages. Human civilisation continued and advanced, but it wasn't until the 20th Century that the real story of humanity began.
The 20th Century
The 20th Century was both the greatest and most horrifying age in human history. Nearly 100 million humans died from the first two World Wars, some of the largest wars ever waged. The First World War began in 1914 and ended in 1918 CE, resulting in 37 million deaths. The Second World War was even worse, beginning in 1939 and ending in 1945, resulting in over 60 million deaths. The end of the Second World War was brought about by the use of deadly nuclear weapons, capable of destroying entire cities in a single blow. Huge technological advancements were made during the course of these wars, such as the invention of the radar and radio communications.
Many inventions made in the 20th Century are still in use today - such as the Computer, long-range missiles, nuclear weapons, the television, aeroplanes - and spacecraft.
The Space Age
One of the greatest achievements ever made by the human species came in 1961 CE - humans became a spacefaring species. A man called Yuri Gagarin left Earth's atmospheres in a Vostok 1 capsule, the first ever ship to fly in space. Two nations on Earth - the United States and the Soviet Union - vied for supremacy over this new environment by developing more and more sophisticated spaceflight technology. This period was known as the Space Race. Nations from all over the planet had been inspired by Yuri Gagarin's flight, but the United States and the Soviet Union were the only two that rushed to develop newer and better technologies to make it easier to go into space. A year after Vostok 1 flew, the United States announced a highly ambitious plan to develop a manned spacecraft that could land on Earth's moon, and that they would do it by the end of the decade.
And they succeeded. In 1969 CE, a breakthrough was made in human spaceflight - NASA, the United States' main spaceflight body, created the Saturn V, the largest and most powerful ship humanity had ever built. In July 1969, the Saturn V launched towards The Moon, carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins. As Frame Shift Drives did not exist back then and the Saturn V could only reach a speed of 10km/s, it took the men three days to reach their destination. Once they reached Lunar orbit, the lander on board the Saturn V detached and landed on the lunar surface. Neil Armstrong was the first man to step on an extraterrestrial body, and as he did so, he famously uttered the words, "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
After a day of collecting samples and performing scientific experiments on the Moon, the three astronauts returned to Earth and were hailed as heroes. Several more landings were conducted in the Apollo program, which ended in 1972 CE. Landings on Mars were also planned, but they did not come into fruition until the 2070s.
In the 1970s CE, the first ever Space Station was built - Salyut 1. It was tiny and could hold no more than a few people, but getting a habitat into space was a major breakthrough. More stations, such as Skylab and Mir, were built. The most sophisticated station of the era, however, was the ISS.
The ISS was still quite tiny compared to the stations in the galaxy today, and it could only hold a population of 6. Nonetheless, it became the hub of human spaceflight until it was eventually deorbited and decommissioned. Stations back then did not have landing pads - instead, ships docked at the station by using docking ports mounted on both the ship and the station.
The first private spaceflight corporations appeared in the 21st Century. Corporations such as SpaceX and Reaction Engines developed their own innovative spacecraft in order to try and dramatically reduce the cost of reaching space. Space tourism became more affordable for people and the first commercial space station was built.
Human technology had started to become more sophisticated and advanced than ever before, but technology needs something to power it. In the 2030s CE, Earth underwent a major energy crisis as fossil fuel reserves dwindled. Even as spaceflight technology evolved, long-term missions to far-away destinations such as Mars and the Asteroid Belt to get resources were still out of reach. Restrictions on fossil fuels were imposed, causing unrest between the nations of Earth. The population continued to rise and humanity became increasingly desperate for resources. The first baby to be born off-world was born in the 2030s CE, however, causing a small glimmer of hope.
World War III was a global war that lasted from 2044 to 2055. Nuclear weapons were used between multiple countries such as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) with thermonuclear warheads and an explosive yield of 45 megatons. Major technological advancements were made during the Third World War, like the previous world wars, but not without a catastrophic loss of life and dreadful environmental damage caused by global thermonuclear war.
After over a decade the war was finally abandoned in 2055. It was the most destructive war ever waged across Earth. More than 1 billion people died and many countries were destroyed, but the United States of America was victorious and the only major country left mostly unscathed. The United States of America was able to avoid suffering any nuclear detonations on its soil thanks to its defensive laser grid, which combined ground turrets with armed satellites to disable inbound enemy missiles before they reached their targets. Many were in doubt about the human species' survival after the war ended. Due to the massive damage on the planet, governments didn't have the capacity to repair the damage so corporations stepped in to rebuild human civilization. Earth was gradually rebuilt and World War III turned out to be the last of the world wars on Earth. The United States of America quickly expanded into a multi-continental hyperpower that dominated Earth. It was renamed to the United States of the Americas. Hope was revitalized once more when a man set foot on Mars in the 2070s CE and the first Lunar outposts were built. Humanity was expanding into the Milky Way galaxy.
Tourist Spot 0165
The Tourist Spot 0165 beacon chronicles the ancient history of the Federation and its influence on Earth.
Mankind's first ventures into space were tentative and gradual. The early part of the 21st century saw the first manned spaceflights beyond the moon, but it took major population and economic problems to stimulate enough commercial commitment to start settlements beyond Earth.
The Third World War saw this exploration expenditure dragged back again and it wasn't until the very end of the 21st century that colonies on Mars and the Moon became truly permanent and viable.
After the war, the dominant power was the United States of the Americas, and as the remaining other countries joined it over the next few decades, it was renamed the Federation of the United States and later "The Federation" as the implied reference to one of the pre-war powers was a block to the remaining countries joining it. It had a constitution and laws derived from the earlier powers, but much simplified.
Expansion into Space
In the 2070s CE, a permanent Moon Base was constructed and a man landed on Mars, an inhospitable desert world, for the first time. The first starports were constructed in the 2080s, more manned missions were launched throughout the Sol System, and the first interstellar probes were launched towards systems such as Alpha Centauri and Barnard's Star. Permanent bases on Mars and heavy industrialisation of the Moon also began.
Significant discoveries were made in the year 2100. Ancient life was discovered on Mars, and more importantly, the existence of Hyperspace was confirmed. As humans started to dominate the Sol System, Frame Shift Drives were developed and put on probes which were sent to all nearby systems.
As humans were destined to expand into the stars, the Federation was formed in 2242 AD and all remaining countries were unified on Earth. Mars was terraformed into an Earth-like planet in the 2200s and humans expanded out into interstellar space, creating colonies in systems like Tau Ceti.
Humans continued to expand into space. Major powers arose. Wars were fought. Species went extinct, but humanity endured.
70% of Earth's surface is made up of liquid water, an ingredient essential to life. The remaining 30% is land, which is divided into 7 continents (Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America). Most of the planet's land area has been taken over by humans and their cities but wild areas still remain. Earth's terrain is very diverse, featuring all kinds of biomes from snowy peaks to hot deserts.
Earth is volcanically active and possesses plate tectonics, and hundreds of volcanoes dot the planet. The largest of these volcanoes is Mauna Loa, an enormous shield volcano in the Pacific Ocean. Most volcanoes on the planet erupt when its tectonic plates smash together, causing huge earthquakes. When an earthquake occurs, the pressure from the magma that has built up in the volcano for hundreds of years finally bursts open In a violent explosion, which can be devastating and if the eruptions are large enough, it can blanket the entire planet in a thick cloud of ash and hot gas, causing temperatures to plummet. Fortunately, eruptions as significant as this are uncommon.
Plant life smothers nearly everywhere on the ground. Grass is the most common and can be easily found in fields and plains. These plants are responsible for maintaining the planet's Oxygen-rich atmosphere by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, in a process called Photosynthesis. Plant life is the most common type of life on Earth. They lack consciousness unlike most animal life, but are living nonetheless.
Earth's atmosphere is composed primarily of Nitrogen, Oxygen, Argon, Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapour. The composition of its atmosphere is essential to life, as all organic life on the planet relies on the Nitrogen and Oxygen to survive. Plant life relies on Carbon Dioxide so they can make their own food and maintain the Oxygen in the atmosphere for animal life. Without an atmosphere, Earth would be uninhabitable and would have no oceans.
The atmosphere of Earth has several layers - the layer closest to the surface is the Troposphere, where air pressure is highest and the planet's rain and weather occurs. Above that is the Stratosphere, where transplanetary aircraft usually fly in due to the reduced air resistance. In the stratosphere is the protective Ozone Layer, where the damaging radiation from Sol is absorbed. After the stratosphere is the freezing Mesosphere, the altitude at which breathing apparatus is normally required. After the Mesosphere is the Thermosphere, where the atmosphere starts to merge with space, and the altitude at which a spacesuit is required. Then comes the outer Exosphere, where most starports are located. Earth is also surrounded by an Ionosphere, which is important for radio communications.
Air pressure on Earth averages at around 1,000 millibars, or 1 atmosphere. The air pressure can fluctuate from place to place, but not by much. Humans are capable of surviving at higher and lower pressures, but the pressure on Earth is the desired amount as the species has evolved along with it. The white clouds that cover Earth are large clumps of water vapour which drift around in the skies, and are responsible for causing the much-maligned phenomenon known as rain, which is essential to plant life.
Earth's high-gravity environment keeps the atmosphere from escaping into space.
- Abraham Lincoln
- Li Qing Jao
Jumping to the Sol System requires a permit from the Federation, which requires the Petty Officer rank. Without the permit, the system cannot be entered. To rank up with the Federation, go to neighboring Federal starports and do missions for Federation-aligned factions. Once you reach Petty Officer, return to a Federal starport and you should see an invitation on the Bulletin Board to get your permit. Earth is about 500 light-seconds away from the star Sol.